Pepper gave their Club Nokia audience exactly what they asked for – far from a typical Sunday night. The meeting of the Hawaiian reggae/rock trio and their spirited Los Angeles fans fostered a high-energy atmosphere, manifested in the sporadic outbursts of moshing and the delivery of a fifth of Jameson to guitarist Kaleo Wassman onstage. Bassist Bret Bollinger made it clear that they were going balls to the wall for their fans, declaring that “This is your show, L.A.”
Bollinger was bursting with expression, constantly in motion between audience interaction, instrumentation, and growling into the mic. The hard-hitting rhythm and cutting guitar chops in “Like Your Style” had fans bouncing and fist-pumping. Midway through the set, Pepper decided to bring it down a notch, playing “Bring Me Along” and “Point and Shoot” from their fourth album No Shame . It was then that the band’s soothing island sound and vocal richness really shone.
Pepper may have begun as three kids playing music to score chicks, but they have become so much more. They have aspired to skilled performers who can attract and then connect with large audiences, rocking them, lulling them, and sending them home satisfied.